The renowned Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta appealed to the Kremlin for protection, after religious leaders in Chechnya called for retribution for an explosive article on gay men.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, meanwhile, said April 14 that critics of Novaya Gazeta and its reporting should take their complaints to Russian courts and avoid violence.
Earlier this month, the newspaper published a story saying that Chechen authorities had rounded up over 100 gay men or men suspected of being gay and tortured them. Тhe paper said at least three of them had been killed.
Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov denied the allegations and his spokesman called the report "an absolute lie," saying there were no gay men in Chechnya at all.
Chechnya's Muslim leaders adopted a resolution saying the article insulted Chechen men and society.
"We promise that retribution will catch up with the hatemongers wherever and whoever they are and with no statute of limitations," the resolution read.
Peskov was quoted as saying that the Novaya report wasn’t reliable and that the Kremlin was not aware of the police receiving any complaints on the issue.
With reporting by Reuters and Interfax